To think she’s using me as childcare?

(214 Posts)
Rainallnight Fri 14-May-21 09:26:47

I don’t want to talk about this in my friendship group because I’m very anti playground Mum politics. But need to get this off my chest.

DD is in reception and is friendly with a little boy there. We have had him over to our house for a play dates around five times. She has never been invited to his. The mum keeps saying that they must have her back sometime. I am taking a break from work at the moment, and the other mum works full time.

AIBU to think that the other mum is only interested in the childcare?

OP’s posts: |
paralysedbyinertia Fri 14-May-21 09:29:04

Is she asking you to look after him, or are you inviting him? Just say no if she asks again.

ForTheLoveOfWine Fri 14-May-21 09:29:31

Maybe she will have him over when she isn’t working
Presumably if you don’t have him he goes somewhere else for childcare unless she is specifically inviting her child to yours on set days?

mainsfed Fri 14-May-21 09:29:34

YANBU. Does she suggest the play dates and how long do they last?

Next time she asks could you say 'What time shall I drop dd off at your house?'

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 14-May-21 09:29:36

Yes. She is doing what many mums do. Trying to work, keep her kid/s happy and make friends. If you don't like it say no and she will move on to someone who doesn't mind.

It's up to you if it bothers you or not. You are neither right nor wrong in your thoughts about it.

mainsfed Fri 14-May-21 09:30:16

ForTheLoveOfWine

Maybe she will have him over when she isn’t working
Presumably if you don’t have him he goes somewhere else for childcare unless she is specifically inviting her child to yours on set days?

It's unlikely after 5 playdates all at OP's house.

incandescentglow Fri 14-May-21 09:30:35

five isn't that many times to me, its not like its a weekly thing is it? also working full time she must be busy so maybe it's not that she doesn't want your DD over maybe she just runs out of time

if it happened much longer I'd probably agree with you

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VettiyaIruken Fri 14-May-21 09:31:25

Maybe. Or perhaps she's embarrassed about her house, or she could be disorganised etc

Thereareliterallynonamesleft Fri 14-May-21 09:31:35

Have you invited him over or did she ask you to take him? When I worked full time I struggled to find time to reciprocate play dates, as most people want weekends for family time. Also sometimes people are reluctant to have children over for play dates because they’re worried the house is messy/not as nice as the other person’s house, etc. So she’s not necessarily just using you for childcare, although she could be, tricky to know.

mainsfed Fri 14-May-21 09:31:47

But time to change the dynamic now, or OP will be stuck doing childcare for her for years.

Aprilwasverywet Fri 14-May-21 09:32:57

Stop inviting him. If the cf suggests it there is your answer....

Thatisnotwhatisaid Fri 14-May-21 09:33:22

I wouldn’t say she’s using you as childcare, no. I think she’s probably quite busy with work and has forgotten to arrange a play date at hers or maybe just doesn’t have time. Stop inviting her son if it bugs you.

rainyskylight Fri 14-May-21 09:33:31

Not necessarily? Are the play dates after school or weekend? If after school it’s understandable that she can’t reciprocate the play dates. And also if she is using Olay dates as childcare then it’s not very good planning so seems unlikely unless she’s a massive CF and is doing the same with loads of other mums... Could you suggest a play date at theirs on a Saturday afternoon? You’d be able to better gauge it and if she says yes then she’s not being cheeky and young can have a nice afternoon to do other things.

Fleamaker123 Fri 14-May-21 09:33:59

Very probably. Although it's hard to have friends round if you're working full time.

I had this when mine were little. I worked around school hours so was always around at pick up. Looking back I was definitely used for free childcare sometimes. I would just say be careful you aren't roped into something regular. It has to be enjoyable!

NoSquirrels Fri 14-May-21 09:34:32

If she works full time, it’s really hard to organise a play date. You can’t do after school, weekends get busy and you need time to yourself too. Plus - inside play dates (if you’re in the U.K.) haven’t been technically allowed lately.

If you don’t want to invite the kid over, stop. But don’t seethe about a FT working parent not being able to reciprocate easily.

Whinge Fri 14-May-21 09:36:56

NoSquirrels

If she works full time, it’s really hard to organise a play date. You can’t do after school, weekends get busy and you need time to yourself too. Plus - inside play dates (if you’re in the U.K.) haven’t been technically allowed lately.

If you don’t want to invite the kid over, stop. But don’t seethe about a FT working parent not being able to reciprocate easily.

I agree with this. I don't think she's using you as childcare, presumably he goes to childcare if he doesn't come round to yours for a playdate? If so then in many cases she will still be paying for this place even if he goes to a friends instead.

Theweedonkeeey Fri 14-May-21 09:37:29

Next time she says they must have her back be ready with a date. ‘Oh yes, DD would love that. How about next Friday?’

billy1966 Fri 14-May-21 09:38:47

Generally with playdates it's a back and forth and Saturday afternoon if parents work.

5 without return is a lot, enough to leave it up to her now.

Most children love a playdate and it's nice to have them return.

Lots of parents work but still manage to reciprocate.

I wasn't ever tit for tat with playdates but then I wouldn't tolerate being imposed upon either.

After 5 she should be making firm arrangements IMO.
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mindutopia Fri 14-May-21 09:38:52

If she works full-time, she is probably exhausted and has no time.

Dd has a friend who used to ask her back to play all the time in reception/Y1. I'd tried to reciprocate, but it was really hard. Dh and I work long hours and even when we are on our shorter day to do the school run, we both still have to go home and keep up on emails and sometimes have meetings. Dd's friend's mum is a SAHM and has never had to work.

It's impossible to have friends over when I'm trying to work, and I feel bad. I do try. I invite them over on the weekend, but they are busy having family time on the weekends. This friend has now stopped asking her over, which is sad. But not everyone has leisurely afternoons free to do these kinds of things and most people are doing their best.

mainsfed Fri 14-May-21 09:40:47

OP's time isn't any less valuable because she doesn't work full time.

paralysedbyinertia Fri 14-May-21 09:42:08

mainsfed

OP's time isn't any less valuable because she doesn't work full time.

I don't think anyone has suggested that it is?

Clymene Fri 14-May-21 09:43:18

Well, are you inviting her little boy or is she just dumping him at your house?

How do you propose she invites you back if she works FT?

Perhaps you should make sure your DD only makes friends with children with SAHPs.

NoSquirrels Fri 14-May-21 09:43:58

mainsfed

OP's time isn't any less valuable because she doesn't work full time.

No, it’s not.

But if she’s been inviting this other child over, do you think the working parent should say no, just because they can’t reciprocate as easily.

If the other parent has been asking it’s taking the puss, but accepting an invite isn’t on a like-for-like basis. Just don’t invite if you’re going to feel resentful about hosting.

Notaroadrunner Fri 14-May-21 09:46:20

It depends. Are you inviting the other child to your house or is she asking you to take him? If you are inviting him then just stop. If she's asking then say it doesn't suit you - repeat every time she asks.

RaisinFlapjack Fri 14-May-21 09:48:21

I work full time, DD goes to after school club every day. Sometimes one of school mums offers to pick her up and have her round for an after school play date. We do have her daughter round sometimes but it’s very uneven as I can’t often do an after school pick up and I have younger DS to collect from nursery. Ratio is at probably at least 4 to 1.

The DDs get along famously, school mum always offers I never ask.

I don’t see it as childcare as on the days she goes for a play date I’m still paying for childcare I’m not using!

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